AccueilD.H. Lawrence and the Anticipation of the Ecocritical Turn

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Publié le mercredi 18 juillet 2018 par Anastasia Giardinelli

Résumé

D.H. Lawrence has often been viewed as a post-romantic nature writer. Instead of looking back to the 19th century writers who influenced him, we propose in the 2019 Conference to consider how his literary practice and the philosophy that underlies it herald the ecocritical turn of the late 20th century. Broadly speaking, ecocriticism focuses on the study of the relationship between man and the natural environment, doing so from an interdisciplinary  perspective. It is concerned both with the protection of the environment and with the destiny of man, or of "the human", in the geological era called the Anthropocene. Ecocriticism is a broad term, pointing to innumerable trends: ecopoetry, ecophilosophy (see Guattari's ecsophy), ecoethics, ecoethology, ecopolitics, ecofeminism, etc.

 

 

Annonce

Argument

[...]"the human soul is fated to wide-eyed responsiblity in life"

D.H. Lawrence, "Man and Bat"

D.H. Lawrence has often been viewed as a post-romantic nature writer.  Instead of looking back to the 19th century writers who influenced him, we propose in the 2019 Conference (Nanterre, 4-6 April 2019) to consider how his literary practice and the philosophy that underlies it herald the ecocritical turn of the late 20th century. Broadly speaking, ecocriticism focuses on the study of the relationship between man and the natural environment, doing so from an interdisciplinary  perspective.  It is concerned both with the protection of the environment and with the destiny of man, or of "the human",  in the geological era called the Anthropocene. Ecocriticism is a broad term, pointing to innumerable trends: ecopoetry, ecophilosophy (see Guattari's ecsophy), ecoethics, ecoethology, ecopolitics, ecofeminism, etc. We know that Lawrence, very early in his life, became aware of the damage caused to the world we inhabit by the activities of man.

The organisers of the conference wish therefore to analyse what the concept of nature may have meant for Lawrence, and how the attention he pays to the non-human and to the material world affects his art and connects both with his personal ethics and with his singular form of spirituality. The conference will study both the extent and the limits of Lawrence's "green thinking" in all its aspects and implications, including his reflection on the man/animal dialectic, on what it means to be a man, his vision of the relations in society between women and men, his criticism of waste and of our materialist society, his meditation on  "the silent great cosmos", his particiular version of ecosexuality.

Bruno Latour, in a short book entitled Où atterrir? (Where Can We Land?), La Découverte, 2017, writes: "No corporation would have spent a dollar in order to fabricate ignorance relative to the Higgs boson.  Denial of climate change is however an entirely different matter,  so the funds flow in... In other words, the sciences of nature-as-process cannot adopt the same, somewhat haughty and disinterested, epistemology as the sciences of nature-as universe..."

Lawrence invites a mode of critical engagement which in no sense subscribes to the "haughty and distinterested" procedures that, for (too?) long defined the reading of modernist texts. He can therefore be read in relation to the preoccupations of "our times". Just as Lawrence was prophetic in his anticipation of troubles ahead, our current situation enables us to read backwards in order to arrive now at a fuller appraisal of some of the underlying truths of his writing.

That Lawrence, a miner's son, born into the English midlands coalfields, should have grasped the subterranean conditions of the apparent surface of wealth and power, industry and empire, is now something that appears at once logical and visionary.  He simply knew how to tune his comprehension to the pulse of "nature-as-process" and how to read the signs, the evidence in the air and on the ground.

The ecocritical turn in our reading of Lawrence can be an apocalypse beyond the biblical or beyond the Pauline tones in evidence in The Rainbow, a novel now closer to us, insofar as it was already a world away from any Ibsenite space of domestic alienation or fulfillment. And it is perhaps also a turn away from the provincialities of the bourgesoi novel of relations between the sexes.

The call for papers is an invitation both to read our present moment and also to read Lawrence, in a way that is attentive to the fate of the "universe-as-process", able therefore to adopt, in relation to the Lawrentian opus, a critical approach neither "disinterested" nor "haughty.

A list (not-exhaustive) of possible keywords:

Post-human, post-colonialism, anthropocentrism, ethnicity, regionalism, pastoral, science, evolution, energy, electricity, electron, work, money, domination, consumption, food, the non-human, objects, clothing and nudity, waste, ethical responsibility (ses notably Derrida's reading of "Snake"), climate, social change, political vision.

Submission Guidelines

33rd Annual International Conference, organised by the "Etudes lawrenciennes" group, part of the CREA (EA 370) research group, Université Paris Nanterre, April 4-6 2019.

The organisers of the Conference are inviting  submissions. A 200-250 word outline of a proposal relating to the topic of the 2019 conference, "D.H. Lawrence and teh Anticipation of the Ecocritical Turn" is to be forwarded to to the organisers of the conference, Ginette Roy and Cornelius Crowley for a 5 November 2018 deadline.

Submissions to be sent to: ginette.katz.roy@gmail.com ; cornelius.crowley@parisnanterre.fr

Scientific Committee

  • Ginette Roy, CREA EA 370, Université Paris Nanterre
  • Cornelius Crowley, CREA EA 370, Université Paris Nanterre 

Lieux

  • Université Paris Nanterre, 200 av. de la Répbublique, 92001 Nanterre
    Nanterre, France (92)

Dates

  • lundi 05 novembre 2018

Mots-clés

  • Post-human, post-colonialism, anthropocentrism, ethnicity, regionalism, pastoral, science, evolution, energy, electricity, electron, work, money, domination, consumption, food, the non-human, objects, clothing and nudity, waste, ethical responsibility

Contacts

  • Cornelius Crowley
    courriel : cornelius [dot] crowley [at] parisnanterre [dot] fr

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Cornelius Crowley
    courriel : cornelius [dot] crowley [at] parisnanterre [dot] fr

Pour citer cette annonce

« D.H. Lawrence and the Anticipation of the Ecocritical Turn », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le mercredi 18 juillet 2018, https://calenda.org/451630

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